Saturday, July 25, 2009

Day 49, Alabama to Louisiana, USA

Alabama is a state located in the southern region of the United States of America.

This state is heavily invested in aerospace,education, health care, and banking, and various heavy industries including automobile manufacturing, mineral extraction, steel production and fabrication.

Prasad has just informed us that Alabama is unofficially nicknamed the Yellowhammer State, as that is the name of its state bird.
Wow, Prasad, we are very really know your stamps and birds!

The state tree is the Longleaf Pine, the state flower is the Camellia.
Alabama is also known as the "Heart of Dixie".

Marti wants to know what is "Dixie"??

Well, Marti, I am not exactly sure ....there seems to be several explanations.....
The word "'Dixie'" may refer to privately issued currency from banks in Louisiana. These banks issued ten-dollar notes,labeled "Dix", Fre nch f or "ten", on the reverse side. These notes are now highly sought-after for their numismatic value. The notes were known as "Dixies" by English-speaking southerners, and the area aro und New Orleans and the Cajun-speaking parts of Louisiana came to be known as "Dixieland".

The word preserves the name of a "Mr. Dixy", a 'kind' slave owner on Manhattan Island, where slavery was legal until 1827. His rule was so kindly that "Dixy's Land" became famed far and wide as an elysium abounding in material comforts.

"Dixie" could have derived from Jeremiah Dixon of the Mason-Dixon line which defined the border between Maryland and Pennsylvania, and, for the most part, f ree and slave states.

The states of Dixie include West Virginia, Virginia, Maryland, North & South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Tennessee, Mississippi, Arkansas, Texas, Okla homa, Louisiana, and Kentucky, so we have been travelling through "Dixie"! (

Mississippi is a state located in the Southern United States. Jackson is the state capital and largest city. The state's name comes from the Mississippi River, which flows along its western boundary, and takes its name from the Ojibwe word misi-ziibi ("Great River").

The state is heavily forested outside of the Mississippi Delta area.
Its catfish aquaculture farms produce the majority of farm-raised cat
fish consumed in the United States and the state symbol is the magnolia tree.

Located in the South Central United States, Texas contains diverse landscapes, resembling in places both the Deep South and the Southwest. Traveling from east to west, one can observe piney woods and semi-forests of oak and cross timbers, rolling plains and prairie, rugged hills, and finally the desert of the Big Bend.

The phrase "everything is bigger in Texas" derives in part from the state's geographic sprawl and the wide open spaces of its desert and prairie regions.

In the early 1900s, oil discoveries initiated an economic boom in the state. Texas has since economically diversified. It has a growing base in high technology, biomedical research and higher education. Its gross state product is the second-highest in the nation.

Feroz has just purchased a cowboy hat and boots, and in his long Texan drawl, says that he want
s to visit the the South Fork Ranch in Dallas to see where JR Ewing was shot!

No, no, Feroz we are going to see the Texas School Book Depository Building instead, to see where President JF Kennedy was shot! (as suggested by

Wow, an incident in world history that will never be forgotten.
Feroz simply loves to sing........and we love to sing along...

Our next stop for today is the State of Louisiana, located in the southern region of the United States of America.

Our friend Jean ( invited us to Pat O'Brien's in New Orleans.....where the cute green-coated waiters showed us to our table in the Piano Bar.
Hmm, the line to be seated in this bar extends through the carriageway to the main entrance, so Jean must have pulled some strings to get us in so quickly. Thanks Jean.

The large room has green cushioned chairs poised around copper-topped tables and the front stage boasts two copper-topped baby grand pianos. Jean told us to write our favorite sing-alongs on napkins and pass it along to the entertainers....

Whenever someone mentions "New Orleans"....what comes to mind?
Of course, hurricanes! But Jean has ordered a different kind of hurricane for us.

In the early 1940's there was a short supply of distilled spirits because the grains and sugars necessary to produce spirits went to troops abroad during World War Two. There was, however, a large supply of Rum coming into the Port of New Orleans from the Caribbean. Bar owners were forced to buy large amounts of rum, 50 cases or so, in order to get one case of scotch or whiskey, for example. The experts at Pat O'Brien's began experimenting, and the fruity potent concoction called a "Hurricane" was finally perfected!

A Pat O'Brien's Hurricane® consists of 4 oz. of Pat O'Brien's® Hurricane Rum blended with 4 oz. of Pat O'Brien's® Hurricane Mix and was voted Best Speciality Drink in New Orleans!

Hmm, everyone is ravenous so we all dug into our food.

Alligator Bites (Louisiana alligator tenderloin coated with spicy corn flour, deep fried, and served with honey Creole mustard sauce)
Red Beans and Rice ( A New Orleans favorite, Seasoned red beans slowly simmered for full flavor, served with smoked sausage)
Crawfish Etouffée ( A Cajun classic of fresh Louisiana crawfish tails smothered in a rich Etouffée sauce over a bed of rice)

Big Chocolate Cake (Colossal... Layer upon layer of dark, moist chocolate cake sandwiched in the silkiest smooth chocolate filling, piled high with chunks of cake)
Southern style pecan pie topped with chantilly whipped cream.
Rich cheesecake topped with Pat O'Brien's Strawberry Hurricane Sauce.


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